The Most Emotional Disney Movie, Ranked

Choose the movie you think is the most emotional!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 15, 2024 06:35
Determining which Disney movie tugs most strongly at the heartstrings can be a deeply personal affair. Each film carries unique memories and emotional resonances for different people, making a collective consensus intriguing. By ranking these movies, viewers can reflect on those stories that evoke the strongest feelings and share their experiences. This site allows you to contribute your voice to a growing chorus of Disney fans who each hold their view on the most heartwarming or heartbreaking moments the studio has crafted. As votes accumulate, a lively list emerges, reflecting a broader appreciation and understanding of the emotional depth found in these beloved films. Cast your vote and see how your favorites stack up against the crowd.

What Is the Most Emotional Disney Movie?

  1. 1

    The Lion King

    A timeless story of love, loss, and redemption set in the African savanna, following the journey of Simba, a young lion prince.
    • Notable Scene: The death of Mufasa and Simba's reaction.
  2. 2

    The Fox and the Hound

    A story of an unlikely friendship between a fox and a hound dog, exploring themes of friendship, societal expectations, and the harsh realities of life.
    • Notable Theme: The challenges of maintaining a friendship in a world that expects you to be enemies.
  3. 3


    A heartwarming adventure that explores themes of loss, friendship, and adventure through the eyes of an elderly widower and an enthusiastic boy scout.
    • Notable Scene: The opening montage showcasing Carl and Ellie's life together.
  4. 4

    Toy Story 3

    The culmination of the Toy Story trilogy, dealing with themes of growing up, letting go, and the enduring power of friendship among toys facing an uncertain future.
    • Notable Scene: The toys holding hands as they face an incinerator, accepting their fate together.
  5. 5


    A classic tale of a young deer growing up in the forest, facing the joys and the heartache of life, including the loss of his mother to a hunter.
    • Notable Scene: The death of Bambi's mother, a moment that has moved audiences for generations.
  6. 6


    A vibrant and touching exploration of family, memory, and the importance of honoring one's ancestors, set against the backdrop of the Mexican Day of the Dead.
    • Notable Song: Remember Me, which plays a crucial role in the film's emotional climax.
  7. 7

    Beauty and the Beast

    A tale as old as time, about love and acceptance, following the story of Belle and the Beast, whose love breaks a curse and transforms lives.
    • Notable Song: Beauty and the Beast, which underscores the film's emotional climax.
  8. 8

    Finding Nemo

    An underwater adventure that explores themes of parental love, bravery, and the importance of family as Marlin searches the ocean for his missing son, Nemo.
    • Notable Character: Dory, whose optimism and forgetfulness bring both humor and heart to the journey.
  9. 9

    Inside Out

    An inventive film that personifies the emotions inside a young girl's mind, dealing with the complexities of growing up and emotional health.
    • Notable Character: Bing Bong, Riley's imaginary friend, whose sacrifice is a pivotal emotional moment.
  10. 10


    An inspiring story of bravery and self-discovery, following Moana as she sails across the Pacific to save her people, guided by her heart and the spirit of the ocean.
    • Notable Song: How Far I'll Go, reflecting Moana's inner conflict and determination.

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most emotional Disney movie. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Film is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 177 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Film once every 24 hours. The rank of each Film is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Emotional Disney Movie

The Lion King
Rank #1 for the most emotional Disney movie: The Lion King (Source)
Disney movies have a unique ability to touch hearts. They often explore themes that resonate deeply with audiences of all ages. The most emotional stories tend to revolve around universal experiences such as love, loss, and the journey of growing up. These films often feature characters facing significant challenges, which they must overcome through resilience and the help of friends and family.

One key element in these emotional narratives is the development of complex characters. These characters are not perfect. They have flaws, fears, and dreams that make them relatable. As they navigate their struggles, viewers see parts of themselves reflected in the characters' journeys. This connection fosters empathy and makes the emotional highs and lows more impactful.

Music also plays a crucial role in amplifying emotions. Disney movies often include memorable songs that capture the essence of a character's feelings or pivotal moments in the story. These songs stay with audiences long after the movie ends, evoking the same emotions whenever they are heard again. The combination of powerful lyrics and moving melodies helps to underscore the emotional arcs of the characters.

Visual storytelling is another method Disney uses to evoke strong emotions. The animation brings scenes to life in vivid detail, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the world of the film. The use of color, lighting, and expressive character design all contribute to the emotional tone. For example, darker scenes might use muted colors to convey sadness or danger, while brighter scenes use vibrant hues to express joy or hope.

The themes of these movies often address real-life issues. They might explore the pain of losing a loved one, the struggle to find one's identity, or the importance of friendship and loyalty. These themes are presented in a way that is accessible to children but also meaningful to adults. By addressing these universal experiences, the movies create a shared emotional experience for viewers of all ages.

The emotional impact of these films is also heightened by their ability to balance moments of joy and sorrow. A well-timed joke or a heartwarming scene can provide relief from more intense moments, making the overall experience more engaging. This balance ensures that the audience remains invested in the story and the characters' outcomes.

In addition, the resolution of these stories often brings a sense of closure and catharsis. Characters learn important lessons, grow from their experiences, and often find a sense of peace or happiness by the end. This resolution can provide comfort and hope to viewers, reinforcing the idea that challenges can be overcome and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Overall, the most emotional Disney movies succeed because they combine relatable characters, powerful music, compelling visuals, and meaningful themes. They create a rich tapestry of experiences that resonate on a deep level, leaving a lasting impression on audiences. These films remind us of the power of storytelling to connect us, teach us, and move us.

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